Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How Ontario folk beat radar...If they gets tired of whining to their buds and wanna effect a conclusion to the matter

So I've been looking around here for a bit, and thanks to all the info on this site I managed to have two tickets dismissed this morning, so I figured I would post up the story in case it can help others.

First off, thanks to everyone here, and a BIG thank you to ticketcombat.com, seriously, that guy needs to put a paypal donation box on his site. So, my story (I'll keep it short):

I was driving in Caledon, ON, along one of the town lines, and I had a car in front of me that was at least 10 under the limit, so after making sure I had room, I went around him. Unfortunately for me, there was a speed trap sitting right there, the cop stepped out, and waved me over. Got me for 104 in a 60 using the Decateur VP. To this day, I still have no clue how my unmodified compact car managed to achieve that acceleration, but I digress.

I went looking around on-line, and came across this site, and through it ticketcombat.com. After looking everything over, I put together a request for disclosure form for the site, and sent it off. Now, I work in the Industrial Equipment sector, and deal with regulation, upon regulation, upon regulation, so I added a few points to the request form:
- Calibration Certificate for the Radar
- Calibration Certificate for any calibration equipment (may sound stupid, but in a proper calibration, you should be able to trace the equipment back to the standard)
- Certificate of Conformance (a written record indicating that the unit was manufactured to standard, and more importantly calibrated properly, available from all ISO9000 companies)
- Industry Canada certificate certifying that the unit has been approved for use in Canada

My first appearance was adjourned quickly, the officers notes had been hand written and illegible, when I had asked for typed. The prosecutor told me the officer could sit down with me and go through the notes, which I declined stating this wouldn't give me time to prepare. They had also only sent me over a few pages of the manual, where I had asked for the entire thing. The other more interesting parts of disclosure I had asked for hadn't been given, but the first two items were enough to postpone. The JP agreed with me and set a new date.

My second appearance was the interesting one. I had been e-mailing the prosecutor asking for my disclosure, and they kept saying that the Cert. of conformance, and the Industry Canada certs were not items that they would give to me, I disagreed. So in court, I made the following arguments:

1. The certificate of conformance is available from all ISO9000 companies, of which Decateur is one. In fact it is one of the core principles of the ISO9000 doctrine that documentation be available to prove that the device had been made according to spec and that the initial testing proved that the device was within limits. Without that certificate, there was no way to prove that the unit had been manufactured and tested in the appropriate manner.
2. I had not been able to find any listings for Decateur, or their distributors on the Industry Canada site, and there is no mention in the manual that the device has been tested to Industry Canada standards, however there is a notation that the device has been tested to FCC standards (which are not accepted as IC acceptance). If the Industry Canada Certificate cannot be produced, or a test certificate (using Certification Body recognized by the Standards Council of Canada) proving that the radar falls within the levels prescribed for an acceptance, then the unit is not legal for use in Canada.

So after helpfully educating the JP, and smacking down the prosecution a couple of times ("With all do respect to the prosecution, here is a list of the reasons he is wrong" <-- along those lines), and indicated that there was a possibility that the OPP was in contravention of the Radiocommunications act, the JP agreed with me again and ordered the prosecution to provide me with the documents I was looking for. However, he also told me I needed to provide them with some guidance on where to look.

After I left the court, I fired off a quick e-mail to the head prosecutor stating who they needed to contact, and where they needed to go to look for the documents. A week later I got the certificate of conformance, but since in my initial disclosure I had asked for traceability documents, I went back and told her that the cert. of conformance was incomplete. I also reminded her that she was missing the Industry Canada docs, to which I got an e-mail stating they didn't provide such documentation. I quickly reminded her that a JP had disagreed with that, and didn't hear from her again.

Fast forward to this morning, and I am standing in line to meet with the prosecution, and I hear my name being called. I look over and it is the head prosecutor. She motions me to follow her over to another room, and we have the following discussion:
Prosecutor: So, what are we doing today?
Me: Good question, I'm still waiting on a bunch of documentation from my initial disclosure.
P: I told you we don't supply that, and you are not getting it.
Me: The JP ordered you to get me that documentation.
P: Well, you're not getting it, so go have a seat and get ready for trial.
Me: Ok, works for me.

About six cases in, my name is called, which I figured was a little early, I get up, state my name and the prosecutor (different one) states that all charges are being withdrawn. Judge tells me I am free to go. I walk out of the courtroom, see the head prosecutor, flash her a little "f*** you" smile and off I go.

After all this, I've come to the following conclusions:
1. There is still no firm evidence that the Decateur Radars have ever been tested against IC standards, and if applicable, certified. If this is correct, they should't be being used in Canada, plain and simple.
2. While there is (surprisingly) a massive amount of case law that goes against proper calibration procedures, the Certificate of Conformance is an item that validates the radar unit, and even if it is available, it appears to be an absolute pain in the ass to get.
3. Somehow the police manage to get away with no calibrations, in any industrial sector they would be fined out of existence. How they get away with that I do not know.
4. Do not be intimidated by the prosecution, they seem to be full of nothing but bluster and b.s. The ones I dealt with didn't seem to be able to follow up on any of their threats. In fact most of what they said seemed to be nothing but a bluff.
5. Read this forum, and ticketcombat.com, both are absolute essentials.

Anyways that's my story, sorry its a little long, but hopefully someone will be able to be able to pick something up that will help them.

6 comments:

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